July 23, 2009
At the nation's largest botanical garden - located on Hulu Island - and leading research institute on tropical plants under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, they pursue their research and even run a tiny international school for their children.
Dr Chuck Cannon is the leader of XTBG's ecological evolution research team. A graduate from Harvard College, granted tenure by Texas Tech University and with a Duke University PhD, the American biologist, aged 43, arrived at the garden two years ago.
He had worked in Indonesia and Malaysia for many years and met his Chinese-Malaysian wife during this time. He was looking for a job back in Asia when he saw XTBG's advertisement for a post at an international conference held in Kunming in 2006.
"I think China is growing up very rapidly and has a big influence on the rest of Southeast Asia," Cannon says. "It's a good idea to work here and understand how things work. I might be able to influence people to do research in Southeast Asia and increase the collaboration and coordination between the two places (China and Southeast Asia)."